18th century, 18th century clothes, 18th century clothing, Amusement, Clothing, common dress, Costume, fashion, James Tookey, New England, snow, style, weather, winter, winter coat, Yale Center for British Art
I count myself among the people sick of winter in New England, but the piles of snow and wretched driving have prompted some comments from the Young Mr, including “Well, it would be worse in the 18th century, right?”
Having recently walked on a combination of cleared, partially cleared, and uncleared walks, I’m not so sure…but I was in modern boots, and not my leather-soled repro shoes, which I prefer not to expose to the variety of modern snow-melting chemicals, though they can be cleaned.
Still: the partially cleared and unsalted walk was easier to walk on than you might imagine, and I suspect that the 18th century tasks of clearing steps and paths to make room to walk or drive carts, wagons and carriages was probably reasonably effective– though the melting must have been more annoying and messy when mud season arrived.
In all this cold and snow, how did people keep warm and stay fashionable? For gents, of course, greatcoats were an option, and cloaks or mantles for women, both in the last quarter of the 18th century and into the 19th. I found documentation for women’s Spencers and greatcoats in the first decade of the 19th century, but what about earlier?
While I cannot (yet) place the coat at right in New England, you know I covet one.
Tail pleats with back buttons, a possible shoulder cape? I love the menswear styling of this coat, and the drab-and-black color combination of coat, gown and accessories. I don’t have much call for 1787 clothing in my life (actually none whatsoever) but by the time I’ve patterned and made this coat (after many other things to finish), perhaps I will also have created a reason.
Winter frolics, New Year’s Eve party, 1788? Anything is possible, and time is better spent imagining fun than complaining about snow.